My heart is full, pondering, and noisy at times. These last few weeks have been full of well-wishers, buzz, and a continued sickness. I have thought often of Mary “pondering all these things in her heart.” (I am not comparing myself to her–cannot imagine pondering the immensity of that gift of life!) I have decided that my ponderings are best suited for a blog. Not only do I share with others what is on my heart, but blogging and journaling helps me sort out these thoughts that tend to swish around in my head and heart.
Let’s rewind to the fall of ’97 through the spring of 2000. Picture less wear on my face and body and more cluelessness. I graduated from UT Knoxville in the spring of ’97, got a job with Delta, experienced difficulties with my heart which made it impossible to continue with Delta, lived with my parents for two months unable to drive, moved to Nashville to nanny my sister’s children, worked for Centrifuge in New Mexico the summer of ’98, met my future husband (a three year journey), waited tables, moved to Dallas, Mom got cancer, experienced deep depression, then moved back to Knoxville for grad school in school counseling. (Life moves much slower than that in the midst, but you get the picture.) In the many months of loneliness in this period, I longed to be known. I wanted a plan, and God said “wait on me.” I wanted deep friendships and rootedness, and God said “wait on me.” I wanted to walk into a room and be valued, and God said “wait on me.” The word roots screamed from my journal. I prayed for them, longed for them, thought that I wound be a roving wanderer my whole life. I embraced each new adventurous move thinking that the answer was on the other side. In the last months, I have seen those longings and prayers answered in very unexpected ways. I thought I had seen the answer seven years ago, but I keep seeing God’s work roll out…I thought He was on to the next thing on my list–He simply added layers to the list.
Because I have been open on this blog and with friends along the way, I knew people were praying for Greg and me on this journey. Because of Greg’s position at Fellowship,I know there are people who feel like they “know” us when we do not neccessarily “know” them. They show a love and care and pray for us when we are unaware. I know that God has laid people on my heart throughout the years to pray for not even knowing their struggle–just knowing the urgency to pray, and He has laid us on people’s hearts to be the object of petition in prayer.
These past few weeks, I have felt the culmination of all of those prayers from friends, aquaintances, church members, strangers. There have been Facebook messages, comments, conversations, notes that individually were beautiful. However, they have not come as individual instruments. They have been a beautiful symphony. The tears of women that have been praising God for his work in our lives, in my womb–I cannot fully comprehend. The way God has taught others about Himself in the midst of this is beautiful. The way He has been the One to call them to prayer and perseverence is another testimony of His grace. The fact that I get to hear this is a gift. To hear His praise on the lips of His children is beyond what I can process. I love that they are not praising the doctor or Greg or me or modern science or circumstance–they are praising the Giver of Life, the Raiser of the Dead, God with Us–Immanuel. Praising with a symphony–individual instruments moving together for the expressed purpose of creating something more than they ever could on their own. They do not play for their own glory–this glory is too big for them.
As I reflect back, I see that the longings that I shared with God as a 22, 23, 24 year old for roots, for being known, valued, loved, for deep friendships. I see the evidence of HIs rooting me, His knowing me, valuing me, loving me, His deep fellowship with me have spilled out from the body. Little did I know that pain that would come to get to this place–pain that is real but is of no comparison to Him–the richness that I can see dimly right now. I do feel unspeakable joy, but I cannot comprehend or ponder it all. This is a brief glimpse into eternity where the culmination of all of our prayers and longings and desires will be completely fulfilled in the richness of His overflowing kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
This, my friends, is so much more worthy of praise than a baby’s birth. This is what we are created for–to know Him, to treasure Him, to love Him fully and completely, to speak His praises.
In the coming months, my goal is to put together a scrapbook of stories that are shared with me, comments on here, on Facebook, notes, encouraging words, so that this child may hear and know and learn of God’s character and work in his or her conception and life from a young age. I long for them to know that He alone is good and He alone is where their help comes from…that He alone is the reason for their Momma and Daddy’s life and purpose. I thank God that He has given me the gift to look to Him more than this child–He is where my hope comes from in whatever circumstances, tragedies, joys, triumphs, trajectories this little life will have and bring. To Him be honor.
This is just a measure in the ongoing symphony. My heart is heavy for those who have lost loved ones to suicide this week, who have lost jobs and are looking at unknown transitions, who have deep crevases in their heart from losing a loved one, who are in the throws of depression, who have loved ones who are battling and perhaps giving in to drug addiction, who are trading their birthright for a cup of the soup of the day…We continue on trusting God, asking Him, serving those alongside us. I am thankful that He has been so gracious to call others to prayer on our behalf, and I am honored that He calls me to prayer and care on the behalf of others.